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    Fab Asia Travel

    Singapore After Dark, Fun and Free

    Location: Singapore

    The most expensive city in the world can put you back quite a few dollars. Beautiful Singapore is a colorful and glamorous destination where a beer will cost you $15 and the smallest of hotel rooms (closet more like it) will start at $100. But there are ways to enjoy this sparkling island city state without breaking the bank. Especially in the evening. Here are some tips on Singapore after dark, fun and free.

    Gardens by the Bay

    After a day enjoying the city have an early dinner in the less expensive Clarke’s Quay area (older port area of warehouses now mostly restaurants) and then walk (free) or take a River Cruise Boat ($24) at dusk to the One Fullerton Pier. As

    Art along the Singapore River

    the sun sets the Singapore River and its bridges are lit and beautiful. Be sure to enjoy the historic Fullerton Hotel after dark as you begin your Singapore after dark fun and free tour.

    Fullerton Hotel

    Stop to pose with the famous Merlion statue after dark then wander along the bay.  Get comfy in one of the many seating areas and and get ready for the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Laser Light

    The Merlion is the symbol of the city

    Show.  If you want to spend the money, it’s fun to go up to the observation deck at Marina Bay Sands ($23).  But if you are on a budget you can skip it.  We did it in the afternoon and enjoyed a way-too-expensive gin and tonic in the roof top bar.

    Laser show at Marina Bay Sands

    The laser light show is every night at 8:00 and 9:00.  Coordinated with music and fountains it’s a pretty amazing show in a pretty amazing location.  A great way to enjoy Singapore after dark fun and free.

    Spend the money to enjoy the stunning Gardens

    Gardens by the Bay

    by the Bay sky walk ($8) and the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome ($28) during the day(definitely my favorite Singapore attraction). But by night make sure you position yourself to enjoy the free and spectacular Gardens by the Bay light show. You have two chances to

    Gardens by the Bay

    see the show each evening at 7:45 and 8:45.

    We made our way to the Gardens by the Bay over the red lighted Helix Bridge following the Marina Sands Laser show. If you hurry you will have just enough time between shows to walk there.  Some people stay in one place to watch the Gardens light show (15 minutes) while others lay on the concrete below the towering trees to hear, feel and see the music and lights. For me I enjoyed walking all through the forest and taking

    Gardens by the Bay

    advantage of so many different photography angles. The colors were incredible.  If you are in Singapore for several days this is worth seeing

    Year of the Dog

    more than once.

    We only had two full days in Singapore. We decided to skip Sentosa Island (more family amusement park kind of activities

    Street in Chinatown

    both day and night) and spent our second day in Chinatown.  There is great food and a wonderful and pretty inexpensive selection of shops for souvenirs. After dark Chinatown glows in gold and red and orange. As part of our

    Chinatown

    Singapore after dark fun and free tour Chinatown is worth walking through to enjoy the lights, colors and food!

    Lucky for us we were in Singapore during the Asian New Year (Year of the Dog).  Singapore’s

    Chinatown

    population is 74% Chinese (Mandarin is the second language after English) and both Asian New Year and Chinatown are bustling, popular, colorful and most definitely worth a visit.

    Singapore after dark, free and fun! Fabulous!

     

    Fabulous Reading Wednesday

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review of The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

    Location: Book Review

    Book Review of The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    I loved this book.  It was a complete surprise.  I never heard of it, but the tiny resort on the Maldives had a lending library of which this was one.  And I really enjoyed it.

    Not nearly the quality of Gone Girl, but similar as far as some surprises and twists.   Moriarty brings to life a wide range of fascinating characters and weaves their lives together chapter by chapter. Through out the book you are waiting for the other shoe to fall, and when it does it is startling.

    The plot pulls all of the characters lives together, twisting and turning in a major merge at the end of the book.  I had a few “no way did she do that” moments, but most of the book fell into place in a mostly believable and enjoyable storyline.

    Four stars for “The Husband’s Secret”.

    Fab Asia Travel

    Farewell to the Maldives

    Our Full Time Travel Life Continues

    Three weeks went by really fast – surprisingly fast for as quiet as it is here.  We really practically had nothing to do, in our little piece of Maldive paradise…but we found ourselves relishing the peace – just our cup of tea in a life of full time retired travel.

    Morning coffee

    Three weeks in one place was great.  Even better, three weeks on an island that is only a mile and a half circumference, with no cars, restaurants or nightlife.  Hardly any shops.  What we did find on the island of Huraa was a quiet, religious and extremely friendly community, a great place to work-out everyday, a comfortable resort with good food and relaxing atmosphere, and a beach.

    Perfect.

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    Snorkling in the azure sea

    Our day consisted of getting up before nearly all the other guests, doing yoga and cardio on the beach for an hour and then walking or running two or three times around the island (twice = 3 miles, thrice = 4.5).  Next we had breakfast, then usually went to the beach sometimes til lunch others times skipping lunch and staying all day. This workout routine is a high priority for us in our life of full time retired travel.

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    Romantic Beach Dinner

    A couple of times we went on snorkel excursions to smaller islands in the atoll.  Afternoons we played scrabble, read (a total of four books in three weeks), and spent hours and hours doing technical work to the blog. I spent one entire day in the hammock working on the blog. It is up-to-date and in good shape!

    Since there is no alcohol on this Muslim island we often splurged on an ice cream bar in the afternoon instead.   A little treat on a hot tropical island.

    Most days included a walk to the point to watch the sunset followed by dinner at 7:00 each night in the outdoor restaurant. The rest of the evening spent relaxing and reading.  What a life huh?

    We have loved our time here.  We feel healthy and rejuvenated and ready for what’s next.

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    Sunset on Huraa

    So what is next? Two days in Singapore, followed by a week visiting my niece and her husband in Guam.  Then a month in Australia, before meeting our friends John and Carole for three weeks in Bali.

    The days ahead will fly by, and April 22nd will be here before we know it.  That’s the day we sail from Sydney on a 23 day cruise back to the USA for a ten week visit.  We arrive Seattle May 14th and depart again August 7th as we plan to continue this life of full time retired travel.

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    Morning yoga on the beach

    So thanks for continuing to follow.  Our time in the Maldives has given me the opportunity to do some more major work to the blog and I am really excited about moving forward with new opportunities to share our adventure through the blog –  I hope you are too.

    Please share our message with your friends!  Please sign up to receive the blog via email (much more reliable than through the crazy Facebook algorithm). The adventure continues! Singapore here we come!

    Note – do you follow us on Facebook?  Facebook now puts us in the new “Explore” timeline, so if you have updated your ap that is where you’ll find us.  We are also very active on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.  Find us and follow us there!

     

     

     

    Fab North America Travel

    Solo Road Trip on Historic Highway One

    My Solo Adventure

    Location: Pacific Coast Highway

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    Curious Seagull, Pacific Coast Highway

    Six days and 1300 miles behind me, I arrived home from my Road Trip Pacific Coat Highway (solo).  What’s in a name?  I mostly referred to it as “the route”, thanks to the friendly woman inside my Garmin navigator (who I affectionately call Lois). Whatever the name, it is well worth the time it takes to leisurely enjoy this twisting and turning coastal road.  It is unlike any other in the United States.

    “Lois” and I had six days, and set out to drive from Los Olivos, California to Gig Harbor, Washington.  I certainly thought six days seemed like plenty of time (Lois was non-commital) as we left Los Olivos on a hot and sunny September afternoon.  Six days, it turns out, was not enough time to road trip Pacific Coast Highway…I needed more time to really drink in the views, get out and hike the trails, breathe in the ocean spray and sink my toes in to the sand.  I needed more time. To relax.

    Lois – well she prefers to spend her time “recalculating”.

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    Pismo Beach Kayakers

    With another week I may have even continued the trip all along the Washington coast – and frankly I think I will do that, sometime in the next month or so….I just feel compelled to see the rest and complete the quest. I know Lois will be up for it too.

    Driving the Pacific Coast Highway there were surprises: standing on the beach in Point Reyes without a breath of wind coming off the ocean.  Unheard of in my experience.

    There were frustrations: construction projects throughout the drive causing back-ups which Lois couldn’t possibly have prepared for. I tried to be patient, realizing how important it is to maintain this historic gem of a road and keep drivers safe.

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    Stormy Beach

    There was peace: watching the sunrise at Cannon Beach as I did my morning run along the shore…the pink and gold of the new day bathing Haystack Rock and its sister rocks just as I was running by.  Took my breath away.

    There was adrenalin boost: when I slipped and fell on a muddy hill as I was trying to get a photo,
    catching myself only by grabbing a seedling within reach.  Thinking later about how long I might have laid on that rocky beach below before the next tourist trying to take a photo saw me there…

    There was variety: Hot sun and torrential downpours.  Fog, wind, beautiful clouds.  I saw it all.

    There was Lois: keeping me company, insisting on the  shortest route to my destination, which never was the Hwy 1 Coastal route.  She adjusted…eventually.

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    You see some strange things on a road trip

    And I would do it all again.  Driving the Pacific Coast Highway was rejuvenating and relaxing and restoring to travel alone, singing in the car, thinking, planning. Sometimes using the “mute” button on Lois.  Wish I had had a mute button when doing road trips when my kids were little.  And sometimes just being still.  A new skill I’m learning; being still.

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    Early morning beach run

    I truly recommend making this quest – alone or with someone you love…there were certainly many moments I wished my husband was with me.  But it was also a great thing to do alone…to just be alone can be a really good thing for the soul.

    I didn’t see it all, but I did see a lot…enough to make some recommendations.  So take my advice or not, but find the time to make all or part of the beautiful and scenic Hwy 1/101 a part of a future road trip. Driving the Pacific Coast Highway alone or not, is a positively delightful experience.

     

     

    CALIFORNIA – Road Trip Pacific Coast Highway Solo

    Los Olivos

    In a word: Wine

    Yummy Eats: Los Olivos Café

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    Los Olivos

    Claim to Fame: One of the film locations for the movie “Sideways”.  I actually haven’t seen this movie, I don’t know why.  Gotta check it out now.  My observation of Los Olivos was the “cute” factor is fairly new…perhaps a result of its brush with Hollywood.  No matter, tiny and quaint, its worth an hour or two.

    Lois says: Find a shady parking spot, on the street.  The sun here is hot, even in the fall.

     

    San Luis Obispo

    In a word: Friendly

    Yummy Eats: Firestone Grill – serving San Luis Obispo’s famous tri-tip sandwich

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    Just outside of San Luis Obispo

    Pillow Talk: Cheap, clean and fabulous, the Peach Tree Inn on Hwy 101 is  a throwback to my childhood road trips in the station wagon with the fam. $79 a night.

    Claim to Fame: Named the most friendly city in the United States in 2010 by National Geographic writer Dan Buetner in his book Thrive.

    Home to the California Polytechnic University, this city has made a conscious effort to control growth and promote local (downtown still is a shopping area and has an outstanding Farmers Market, year – round, on Thursday nights), right down to no Target, no drive through restaurants. Yes I said no drive-through restaurants.  Why you ask?  Well SLO’s Mayor says they want people to get out of their cars!  Shhh…don’t tell Lois.

    Lois says: I love the old “Motor Inns” designed for road travel.  The Peach Tree was perfect.

    San Simeon

    In a word: Elephant Seals

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    Sea Elephants – you can smell them a mile away

    Claim to Fame: Hearst Castle – worth a visit.  Can be long lines depending on the time of year

    Watch for the signs to stop at the Piedras Blancas and view the harems of these smelly, loud, entertaining and interesting coastal creatures who make this beach their home year-round, with peak season being February through May.

    Lois says: The parking lot at Piedras Blancas was muddy, watch for large potholes here…but plenty of parking available.

    Big Sur

    In a word: Stunning

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    Stunning Big Sur

    Yummy Eats:  Be sure to go to Nepenthe, for the view as much as the food.  Meal was good, view was spectacular.  For breakfast don’t miss the Big Sur Bakery.  Try the Quiche or organic granola.

    Pillow Talk:  Lots of options in Big Sur – all expensive.  But for something fun and unique splurge on the fabulous Treebones Resort.  You won’t be sorry.

    Claim to Fame: The very rugged area did not see electricity until the 1950’s and the coast highway took 18 years to build.  Pioneers were a tough breed here, and early conservationists.  Their names are still visible throughout.

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    Enjoying a beach walk

    Great hiking and views everywhere you go.  Don’t miss Julia Phieffer Burns State Park, Phieffer Beach and to the North the spectacular Point Lobos State Park where you can spend the whole day and not see it all. No cell phone service anywhere here, on Verizon anyway.

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    The road can be challenging. Pay Attention!

    Lois says: If you are prone to motion-sickness take your meds before joining me on this section of the route.  Very up, down and twisty and we don’t want any messes on the interior of the car.  Thank you.

    Monterey

    In a word: Tourists

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    Monterrey Sunrise

    Yummy Eats: Fish Hoppers – delicious seafood risotto with a waterfront view.  Monterey has lots of options for dining on the water…some more touristy than others, but worth it to enjoy the salty smell and sights of the ocean here.

    Pillow Talk: Very disappointing room at Padre Oaks…for $200 it was old and sad.  But the motel was full, so that must mean $200 is the going rate.  Too bad, over my normal budget.

    Claim to Fame: The spectacular Monterey Aquarium is worth a visit, make the time, especially if you are traveling with kids.

    I particularly enjoyed a morning run along the waterfront.  A great trail that runs from Fishermen’s Wharf to Lovers Point was wonderful, flat and right next to the ocean.  Listening to the sea lions bark and the smell of the ocean breeze was a great way to start my day.

    Lois says: If you are only going to be in town a few hours skip the lots and park in street parking a few blocks out of the Cannery Row area.  Abundant and inexpensive.

     

    Half Moon Bay

    In a word: Charming

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    Great fence outside of Half Moon Bay

    Yummy Eats: I had lunch at the Moonside Bakery and sat outside in the sun.  My turkey sandwich on croissant and latte were perfect. It was busy – always a good sign- and the clientele appeared to be both tourists and locals.

    Claim to Fame: A coastal gem, Half Moon Bay’s temperate climate, access to San Francisco and the coast position it perfect for a full vacation if you have the time.  Unfortunately, I did not.

    Lois says: Choose the “Business Route” to assure access to the downtown area of Half Moon Bay.  The area is well marked to access the beach here too.

     

    San Francisco

    In a word: Variety

    Yummy Eats:  So much fabulous food…so little time.

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    San Fran and the Golden Gate

    Claim to Fame: The history of San Francisco is deep.  This city played a major role in the developing California territory and the entire west coast with gold, lumber, fishing, fires and more.  San Francisco has also been a leader in gay rights, healthy lifestyle and technology.

    You really need to make San Fran a separate trip, but if you make it a stop on this trip and only have a day just stroll and enjoy the waterfront, the Golden Gate and the views.

    Some of the most stunning views on the route are after you cross the Golden Gate Bridge on Hwy 101, follow the signs to Hwy 1 which climbs up and over Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods. Spend time here if you  can, it’s really beautiful.  Be sure to pull into the Marin Headland overlook and enjoy the view here before descending down the winding road to the coast and several beaches including Stinson and Bolinas.

    Lois says:  Caution – keep your eyes on the road going over the Golden Gate Bridge…its hard to do, but safety first!

     

    Olema

    In a word: Earthquake

    Yummy Eats: Sir and Star is a spectacular and surprisingly affordable restaurant in the heart of tiny Olema in a beautiful historic building.  I nearly died over the delicious dinner rolls, along with my trumpet mushroom salad and Bubble and Squeek.

    Pillow Talk: The Roundstone Farm Inn Bed and Breakfast offered a superb location to enjoy the area.  $170 a night included a nice breakfast.

    Claim to Fame: Home to the stunningly beautiful Point Reyes State Park which boasts miles of shoreline and hiking you could spend several days  here and I wish I had.  You can also walk on the San Andrea Fault which runs right through the area.  A great visitor center at Bear Valley is only minutes from Olema and is a great place to plan your day.

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    Great California wine

    In the neighboring town of Point Reyes be sure to visit Cowgirl Creamery for the most outstanding cheese on the earth.

    Lois says: My GPS is a little iffy in this area…I really had a headache here.  You might want a back up paper map in the car just in case.

     

    Marshall

    In a word: Oysters

    Yummy Eats: Hog Island Oyster Bar

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    Pacific Coast Oysters

    Claim to Fame:  If you love the bi-valve then this is the place.  Popular with the weekend crowd from the city, but open most days, you can enjoy sitting at the outdoor beach bar and slurp raw or cooked oysters, you can buy oysters to go, and you can also see the oyster farm.  Worth a stop!

    Lois says: You come upon this place quickly so be watching and aware of cars turning into the valet parking lot. I recommend valet always…such cute guys at the valet!

     

    Point Arena

    In a word: Lighthouse

    Claim to Fame: The only pacific coast lighthouse where you can climb to the top (115 feet), Point Arena is worth a stop.  The views from the road are also spectacular.  A nice stop to stretch and breath the sea air.

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    So picturesque

    Lois says:  You’ll catch sight of the lighthouse easily from the road.  There is a perfect pull out on the ocean side to stop and snap a few photos.

     

    Miranda

    In a word: Redwoods

    Yummy Eats: The Avenue Cafe is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner – right on the world famous Avenue of the Giants.  Pancakes – yum.

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    Redwood Forest

    Pillow Talk: Miranda Gardens is a cozy and fun spot for a night or two  right in the middle of the giant trees and close to everything Redwoods, including the Avenue of the Giants.

    Claim to Fame: Big Trees.  Even if you’ve seen them, every time I still feel so small.  It’s astonishingly beautiful and renews your appreciation for Mother Nature and her ability to amaze.

    Lois says: Lights on for safety in this area.  Big Trees = dark roads.

    OREGON – Road Trip Pacific Coast Highway Solo

    Gold Beach

    In a word: Wild

    Yummy Eats: This is a town you want to have seafood in.  Check out the Nor’Wester for Seafood and Chowder.

    Pillow Talk:  Fabulous lodging at the historic Ireland’s Rustic Lodges.  Get a cabin if available (mine was darling and the bed very comfy) or ask for a lodge room with an ocean view. The cabins don’t have views but are roomy and include a small fridge and microwave.  Oceanside rooms do as well.

    Claim to Fame: Gold Beach touts itself as the “Wild Side” and rightly so.  Enjoy wild crashing waves on deserted ocean beaches, wildlife, wild salmon and wild views all with fewer people than some other towns along the Oregon Coast.  Easy access to the wild Rogue River as well.

    Walk to the beach in the early morning and you will likely have the place to yourself.  A great way to to start the day

    Lois says: The final section of Hwy 1/Hwy 101 out of Rockport before you hit Crescent City and cross into Oregon is very steep and windy.  We tackled it in a rainstorm as well.  If possible, plan your trip to be on this section during daylight hours.

     

    Cannon Beach

    In a word: Shopping

    Yummy Eats: A perfect lunch or light dinner choice is Sweet Basils.  Great tapas and wine as well as a nice happy hour in the summer season.

    Pillow Talk: Cannon Beach Hotel – I loved this quaint hotel one block from the beach. The building is old but beautifully restored and the rooms are small but very comfortable.  The breakfast which is included in the price was the best I had on my trip in the cozy french cafe that adjoins the hotel.  Tres magnifique!

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    Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach

    Claim to Fame: The sand is world famous here, known as the singing sands.  The world famous Cannon Beach Sand Castle Festival is in June, but enjoy the sand and beautiful beach any time of year.  Bring a jacket.  Lots of great shopping here too, if that’s your thing.  Stay more than one day and also visit beautiful Seaside just 8 miles up the road.  I also recommend a visit to Ecola State Park for the view.  If you have time, hike around.  I saw several elk here.

    Lois says: For some reason driving on the ocean beach is a popular activity here.  I’m not into it myself, but if you are, and have the right vehicle, it’s legal.

    WASHINGTON – Road Trip Pacific Coast Highway Solo

    Ilwaco

    In a word: Shipwrecks

    Yummy Eats: The Depot Restaurant is a great place to combine a great meal with history and ambiance.

    Claim to Fame: Ilwaco on the Long Beach Peninsula has a wealth of history as a hub for transportation on both land, sea and river.  It’s primary seafaring and transportation position has also created many shipwrecks through the years.  Today its still a hub for fishing, transportation, seafood, cranberries and tourism.

    A stop at Cape Disapointment State Park will greet you with spectacular views, two lighthouses and a wonderful museum/interpretive center on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

    I did not spend the night here, but hope to go back and do so, as this area is worth several days to explore.

    Lois says: I used my Washington State Parks annual pass here, well worth the purchase if you visit many of our State’s parks through out the year.

     

    South Bend

    In a word: Seafood

    Yummy Eats: East Point Seafood has fresh, canned and frozen seafood to go as well as an outdoor fish and chips stand.  Don’t miss it!

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    I love oysters

    Claim to Fame: Famous for Willapa Bay and the fabulous oysters produced there.  Even if you are just driving through town, be sure to stop and pick up some to go.

    Lois says: Watch the speed limit, these small town police love to give you a ticket.

     

    I left Hwy 101 at the town of Raymond and headed East over to I-5 and took I-5 from Chehalis on home.  I will hopefully continue the tour in the next month or so and enjoy the rest of the rugged Washington Coast section of this wonderful route. With Lois of course – she was a great companion!

    More on that when I (we) do!

     

     

     

     

     

    Everything Else Fabulous  --  Fab Asia Travel

    Traveling with Low Expectations Brings Happier Rewards

    Location: Maldive Islands

    Maybe it’s different if you are on a two-week vacation.  You likely want every minute of your two weeks perfect.  I suspect this is why I see frustrated tourists on occasion.  Visitors with high expectations dashed.

    I’m more and more aware that a life of full-time travel will eventually bring you to a place where you approach each new destination with low expectations, and where you are usually rewarded with happier results.

    Life is easier if you don’t put the pressure of high expectations on every moment.  I used to live a life of high expectations.  No more. Now we know traveling with low expectations brings happier rewards.

    I was thinking about this today, during my morning yoga practice on the beach in the beautiful Maldives.  I was thinking about this because there is a couple here at the resort we are at, who clearly came here with high expectations.  Too high.  They are leaving and going somewhere else.

    Unfortunately I expect they won’t find what they are looking for at the next place either.

    The resort we are at is simple.  Nothing fancy.  But it is inexpensive, comfortable, relaxed and the service is great.  We did our research before coming here – and our expectations matched exactly the reality (such as, in this Muslim country, no alcohol and only one beach where western swimwear is allowed). Too bad the couple I referred to didn’t do their research – or perhaps they just live a high expectation, high maintenance life, waiting for others to make them happy.

    Traveling with low expectations is a blessing really.  We do a lot of research before we go somewhere, both on the destination and on the lodgings we choose.  We approach each new place with a giddy sense of wonder and fear…but never with high expectations.  This has given us the most joy in our travels, little disappointment and frequent euphoria.

    Accepting each country and each destination’s quirks and faults, bonuses and perks makes for great memories and experiences.  Not dragging any preconceived notions, American needs or desires or high expectations into the adventure is how we have fun.  Learning along the way that the grand adventure is what we make it – how we take it – low expectations and happy rewards.

    A fabulous life indeed.

    Fab Asia Travel

    Learning About Ancient Chinese Tea in Beijing

    Location: China

    What a fascinating experience we enjoyed learning about ancient Chinese tea in Beijing.

    Sorry Mr. Lipton, but I’m not sure I can ever use a tea bag again.

    Sorry Mr. Starbucks but your idea of Chai just won’t cut it for me anymore.

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    Tea as a welcome and a greeting

    Oh and apologies also to the Queen – milk and sugar is out.

    I’ve been converted to the wonders of Chinese tea.

    Those of you who know me personally know I am a coffee-holic.  Boy do I love my morning java.  But, most of you probably don’t know I also enjoy tea, particularly in the evening as a relaxing way to unwind.

    The thing I found most enchanting about the ancient Chinese tea culture was the calming nature of the experience of it.

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    Preparing and serving is an art form

    Unlike the coffee-culture we live in (fast-paced, drive-through and impersonal),  Chinese Tea Culture is about taking the time to hand brew each cup, serve it in beautiful containers and present it in a humble and ceremonial way.  Tea is not just about drinking something hot and delicious.  It’s a greeting, a gesture, a gathering, and an art – and ancient tradition.

    Both recent scientific and ancient medical cultures agree tea also has a wide range of health benefits for our bodies.  Our server at the Fujian Anxi Xihua Tea Company schooled us on the many ailments Chinese people turn to tea to cure including; low sex-drive, digestion problems, slow metabolism and lack of energy.  Tea is a zero calorie, immunity boosting, antioxidant  said to increase bone strength, improve energy level and help in weight loss.

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    Delicious

    Wow.  Sign me up.

    Learning about ancient Chinese tea in Beijing we visited a Chinese Tea Ceremony where we were given the opportunity to see, smell, taste

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    Flowering Tea

    and appreciate many different teas including; Oolong, Jasmine, Red Tea, Black Tea, Blooming Flower Tea, Ginseng and Fruit Tea.

    Beyond my fascination with the tea itself I was intrigued by the variety of implements used in the preparation and service of the tea: pots, cups, lids, spoons, scoops, sieves, strainers and even a tiny crockery naked boy, who pees when the water is hot enough. Yes I brought one home.

    Speaking of hot water, I also learned some teas are served with water that is not quit boiling…so much detail in this way of tea. So much to learn.

    I did not and could not possibly learn it all in the hour we enjoyed our visit at the Tea House.  But it was enough time to intrigue me to study up, and expand my tea drinking wisdom and enjoy the art of Chinese Tea, back at home. Slowly and with purpose.

     

     

    Fabulous Reading Wednesday

    Reading Wednesday

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    My Book Review of

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    At first I thought this was a light “chick” novel – the title kind of threw me.  I guess in a way it is still…but it is also a deep and meaningful story.

    Don’t be put off by “another WWII” novel.  Indeed there seems to have been a glut of them on the best seller lists lately.  Despite that, this is a lovely book, a love story as well as a story of friendship and determination through good times and bad.

    The story of author Juliet and her chance correspondence and eventual meeting with the members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, whose island occupation by the German’s in WWII would create a perfect storm for all to fall together and hold each other up.  Each unique character in this book will warm your heart, make you laugh, make you cry and make you mad.  A wonderfully written collection of characters.  And it made me add Guernsey to my travel destination bucket list.

    And one of the best parts of the book is the way it is entirely written in correspondence between all these witty, humble, boastful, smart, quiet and thoughtful individuals.  A perfect way to tell this tale.

    I really enjoyed this book.  Five Stars.